News Center

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

St. Francis Health to launch electronic medical records system of Epic proportions

$100 million conversion will improve patient outcomes, reduce paperwork, create more efficiency

INDIANAPOLIS – Franciscan St. Francis Health will implement a new electronic medical records system this weekend (Feb. 25-27) – a move that will more closely integrate patient care for its hospitals and physician practices.

“Health care in the United States is rapidly changing to a system where health care providers will be required to produce much higher quality outcomes using fewer resources, and where collaboration is vital in providing top-notch, efficient patient services,” said Keith Jewell, St. Francis Health’s senior vice president and chief operating officer.

Currently 32 St. Francis Medical Group physician practices and 128 physicians are on the Epic system, giving clinical access to recent patient health histories from more than 120,000 physician practice encounters when patients come to the hospital for care. Additionally, hospital medical records for the last seven years, including 8.4 million lab tests and 1.35 million radiology reports, have been imported into the system.

This technology will reduce paperwork, streamline workflows, reduce the risk of errors and maintain patient confidentiality.

When the transition is complete, the system will offer a single record among primary care and specialty practices through the St. Francis Medical Group, as well as services at St. Francis hospitals in Indianapolis, Beech Grove and Mooresville.

“When our patients arrive at the hospital, we’ll have instant access to their most recent health histories, helping our physicians and clinical staff make the most educated choices for their care,” said David Mandelbaum, M.D., who is leading physicians’ efforts for Epic’s implementation.

This partnership readies St. Francis Health to meet the challenges of health care reform, including a federal mandate to transition to electronic medical record systems.

The Epic electronic medical record system is part of a corporate-wide initiative for the Franciscan Alliance, a network of 13 hospital systems in Indiana and Illinois. St. Francis Health was chosen to lead the conversion a year ago.

Other Franciscan Alliance hospitals in Indiana and Illinois will convert to the electronic medical record system over the next two years. With an estimated cost of more than $100 million, the project is being partially funded through the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The Epic system is one of the most highly regarded electronic tools available in the health-care industry today. Several Epic clients have won the HIMSS Davies Award for their use of EpicCare to help improve patient safety, increase efficiency, and provide more cost-effective health care.

To learn more about the Franciscan St. Francis Health’s adoption of the new medical records system and what it means for patient care, visit